“What do you mean?!” Eredan asks Tobias angrily.
Tobias only shrugs, “Like I said, I just went to wake her up and she wasn’t there.” He yawns and rubs his eye with his palm.
Tobias had just woke up to find Danni wasn’t in her room, and had told his brother. Which wasn’t going over very well. He sort of wished he hadn’t, he wished he had just let Eredan find out himself.
They stood in the kitchen in their pajamas, Tobias was working on getting breakfast when his brother had come out of his room. He told his brother how Danni wasn’t in her room and went back to making himself frozen pizza rolls. The pizza rolls still sat on the island counter, still frozen.
“Tob, that’s not good! Where the hell do you think she went?” Eredan asked, on the verge of shouting.
“Hell, I don’t know. Do I look like I understand the mind of a homeless wreck?” Tobias matched his brother’s loud tone.
The look on Eredan’s face was frightening. Tobias realized he’d said the wrong thing and backed up a step.
“Hey, I would like some quiet. I have this thing I like to do. You know, sleep?” Markus’ voice interrupted from the stairs.
Eredan’s glare turned from Tobias to Markus. Markus caught the glare and put up his hands.
“Or you know, I could get ready for work,” he states, coming down the stairs. “What’s going on anyway?” Markus asks, grabbing the plate of pizza rolls and putting them in the microwave.
“Those are mine, Markus.” Tobias warns. Markus just shrugs.
“Danni’s gone.” Eredan tells Markus.
“What? What happened? She was cool.”
“I don’t know. That’s the problem, we don’t know where she went, or why she left.” Eredan answers, sighing.
“You going to look for her?” Markus asks, taking the pizza rolls out of the microwave. Tobias moves to the island to make sure he gets one.
Eredan nods, “Yes. I promised to help her, I intend to keep my promise.”
Markus nods in understanding and takes the plate of rolls to the living room. Tobias glares at him and follows after.
Eredan sighs and walks to the fridge looking for a quick snack when Dante walked in. He had a knowing smile as he asked Eredan about Danni.
“So, she’s gone?” Dante says sounding surprised.
“Yes. I’m going looking for her.” Eredan fails to notice Dante’s disapproving look.
“May I ask why?” Dante crosses his arms and leans back against the island.
“I promised her and I’m going to keep that promise. I just wish I knew why she left.” Eredan sighs.
“I can answer that question. But I can’t tell you where she might have went.” Dante states.
“What do you mean?” Eredan asks carefully.
“She left because I told her to. In all honesty I think she wanted to leave anyway, she obviously did.” He shrugs.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Eredan demands.
Tobias and Markus turn to look at the two at the sound of Eredan’s shouting. Eredan shakes his head, prompting the two to return to their food.
“Nothing. You’re the one with something wrong. Bringing in that girl.” Dante replies sharply.
“You bastard.” Eredan growls, bringing his fist down, hard, on the counter.
Dante only shrugs and pushes off the counter. He walks away, before Eredan could say anything else. He felt no remorse for what he had done.
Eredan huffs and storms out of the kitchen, he didn’t bother to go after Dante. Eredan changed out of his pajamas, pulled his boots on, and put on his trenchcoat. Before he raced out the door he called to his brothers.
“Markus, take Tobias to school for me,” he calls.
Both watch as their older brother runs out the door. At the sound of an engine starting up Marus stands up from the sofa.
“Tob, take your skateboard, go to school. I need to keep an eye on Eredan.” Markus tells Tobias, concerned.
Tobias rolls his eyes, “Fine,” he sighs.
Markus leaves the remaining rolls with Tobias, and dashes out the door still in his pajamas. Tobias simply watches as his brother races out the front door. He wondered what was going to happen and what was going on, but he did as Markus told him and took himself to school.
“Where do you suppose she went?” Markus asks Eredan.
Markus had caught up with Eredan before he did anything regretful. He didn’t want his brother to get into any trouble. He wasn’t sure why he was so dead-set on helping this particular girl, but he knew arguing about it would do no good. Instead he went along with it.
Eredan had parked his car at the safer end of the town and they were now walking along the sidewalk, looking up and down the streets and alleys.
“An alley,” he answered as though it were basic knowledge.
Eredan felt he knew which alley she was in, and he trudged ahead. The streets were busy with activity, and full of sketchy characters. Eredan wondered how Danni had survived so long out here. It was safe enough town, it was just certain people who chose to walk the alleys that gave the town a bad vibe. As he neared the alley where he first met Danni, he immediately felt something out of place. Ignoring his brother’s shouts, he raced to and down the alley. Danni was passed out, backpack sprawled out next to her. Two boys stood over her and they didn’t look like the nicest people.
“Hey!” He shouted at them.
Both boys turned around and took off running. He thought about chasing after them, but decided against it. He walked over to Danni. Kneeling down next to her, he gently slid his arms under her and picked her up. She was incredibly light which worried Eredan. With one last look at the alley, Eredan walked back out to the street to be met by Markus.
“She okay?” Markus asks.
“I think she’s just sleeping.” Eredan responds, “Let’s get her back home.”
Markus nods in agreement, “What about Dante? He’s gonna be pissed.”
“I’m aware of that, but that’s not our biggest problem right now.”
“He got her to leave. What if he does again? Why do you care so much about her? There are plenty homeless people on the streets.” Markus asks, concerned.
“This is a little bit different than just being homeless,” Eredan explains, gently lifting the back of her tee shirt to show Markus the scars.
Markus nods in understanding, and the brothers begin their trek back home.